Human cloud firm Instacart is paying $4.6 million to settle an independent contractor compliance case. Meanwhile, a Massachusetts staffing buyer agreed to pay $900,000 in restitution, and citations in a separate case against a California staffing firm were upheld in an incident of carbon monoxide poisoning. And a group of FedEx drivers were found to be independent contractors in the last case covered here.

Instacart settles IC case

Human cloud, grocery delivery firm Instacart agreed to pay $4.6 million settle a class action case involving alleged misclassification of workers as independent contractors, the website Recode reported. Instacart will also have to change its description of a service fee that customers had confused as being a tip for the worker as part of the deal. In addition, Instacart must create a formal policy explaining under what circumstances a worker can be deactivated from the site.

Massachusetts staffing buyer pays $900,000 in restitution

Coliseum Companies, which does business as Bay State Linen, agreed to pay $900,000 in restitution to some 177 temporary workers for violations of the Massachusetts minimum wage and overtime laws, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office announced Friday. Its staffing firm, Country Temp Corp., and owners Robert Carrion and Fabiola Ramirez, both of Roslindale, Mass., were indicted on criminal suspicion of not paying minimum wage and overtime as well as retaliating against temporary workers who cooperated with the investigation against Country Temp. The move highlights the Massachusetts agency’s focus on wage and hour violations by staffing firms. A $1.2 million settlement in a separate case was also announced recently by the Attorney General’s Office.

Citations upheld in temp carbon monoxide poisoning

Citations issued to staffing firm Barrett Business Services Inc. stemming from a carbon monoxide exposure event in 2011 that sent eight temporary workers to a hospital were upheld, the California Department of Industrial Relations announced. The staffing buyer in the case, L&L Foods, settled its side of the case last April, but an administrative law judge imposed civil penalties of $80,050 on Barrett, which it contested. The Department of Industrial Relations announced on Monday the citations issued to Barrett were upheld.

The incident had occurred on Sept. 28, 2011, at a warehouse facility in Anaheim, Calif., when a forklift worker became ill and was hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning. Seven other workers were taken to a hospital for treatment.

L&L Foods had sealed all vents at the facility to prevent vermin from entering, and Barrett did not assess the safety conditions for the enclosed environment and disregarded workers’ reports of headaches and nausea from fumes, according to the department. Cal/OSHA tested the facility and found carbon monoxide levels of 250 to 350 parts per million, exceeding the ceiling limit of 200 parts per million, the department stated.

Appeals court finds Connecticut FedEx drivers to be ICs

A US Court of Appeals in Washington DC vacated ruled a group of FedEx drivers in Connecticut are independent contractors, rejecting a decision by the National Labor Relations Board, writes McGuireWoods LLP in Lexology.